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Passenger Trains > Another Train vs. Pedestrian


Date: 03/20/17 07:44
Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: Auburn_Ed

Last night, about 7:40 pm, an empty "Amtrak train" was challenged for the right of way in Edmonds, WA, by a 41 year old woman who was walking the tracks with her husband..  Amtrak won the challenge, the woman was dead at the scene.  (Just how do you report these things in order to please all the audience?)

Ed



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/17 08:14 by Auburn_Ed.



Date: 03/20/17 07:55
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: Lackawanna484

Sad all around.

It's incredibly difficult to get people to change their activity. Put up a fence, they cut it.

Put up a memorial to somebody killed by a train, and hundreds of sobbing shrieking kids are there. Grief counselors, etc.  A week later the same kids are walking along the same tracks...Right past their own memorial.

(That happened a few years ago in Upper Montclair NJ, and drew a wide range of comments.



Date: 03/20/17 08:45
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: wjpyper

I wonder if these same people would walk on the runway at a busy airport?
 



Date: 03/20/17 08:50
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: walstib

Auburn_Ed Wrote:

>  (Just how do you report these things in order to
> please all the audience?)
>
> Ed

I've always found the best way is to just stick to the facts. 

Pleasing the audience shouldn't be a factor. Using cute phrases to try and sugar-coat the incident, or using language that demonizes the dead, is just ridiculous.

Facts, just report the facts.



Date: 03/20/17 09:54
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: sptno

Probably not.
However, the same type of folks try to walk across very busy IH 35 here in Austin, TX and most don't make it across. 
Most get killed.  If the survive, they try to file suit against the vehicle driver.  Victims family member also try to file lawsuits.
Vehicle drivers  and emergency responders suffer emotional trauma, just like the train crew members.

Pat
South Austin, TX



Date: 03/20/17 14:12
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: agentatascadero

walstib Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Auburn_Ed Wrote:
>
> >  (Just how do you report these things in order
> to
> > please all the audience?)
> >
> > Ed
>
> I've always found the best way is to just stick to
> the facts. 
>
> Pleasing the audience shouldn't be a factor. Using
> cute phrases to try and sugar-coat the incident,
> or using language that demonizes the dead, is just
> ridiculous.
>
> Facts, just report the facts.
Amen, brother.  Simply report what happened.  It is when people turn away from the facts and sink into prejudicial and opionated declarations  that civility disappears.
AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 03/20/17 16:37
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: vegasrails

I'm not in train service on the other end, attempting to educate the public about being safe around trains with Operation Lifesaver. In 14 years of presentations, attending events, running safety trains courtesy of Union Pacific RR with news coverage,including a news copter overhead recording the near misses, and traffic enforcement, In addition NDOT building either overpasses or underpasses for all major east/west arteries covering the main line through Las Vegas, Last year four fatalities, plus a number of injuries resulting in long hospital stays in Southern Nevada alone not counting Northern Nevada. Can't tell you how many vehicles  from ATV, 4x4 and simple auto especially rentals stuck on the tracks at locations close to intersections, resulting in tieing up the main line until vehicle is moved and the trackage is checked and sometimes repaired due to damage.
Additionally these are only the ones I'm aware of, most Class 1's in the Mojave Desert don't advise the news and if the locate news doesn't pick it up,or I do not pick up on the scanner it shows up in one of my yearly reports 18-24 months after the event.
I'm sorry to  see this occur for everyone involved especially our first responders and the train crews, Prior to the incident in Utah  that Union Pacific shared the photo of the three girls prior to their deaths, the State Coordinator, along with assistance from UDOT and other agencies had placed bill boards, bus signs and did presentations in the schools and local church groups in the local area. But  the incident still happened 



Date: 03/20/17 18:04
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: Auburn_Ed

I pointed out some years ago that the Australian Government puts out some VERY DRAMATIC videos to run on TV.  VERY graphic, both audio and video.  It is more than enough to get your attention (at least it got MY attention, maybe that's the problem).  You can find them on-line.  Short of displaying body parts (students have all seen the "bloody wrecked car that is trucked around from high school to high school"), what can you do?  Check out the videos, you will see what the victims see!

Ed




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/17 18:10 by Auburn_Ed.



Date: 03/21/17 00:10
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: OTG

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Put up a memorial to somebody killed by a train,
> and hundreds of sobbing shrieking kids are there.
> Grief counselors, etc.  A week later the same
> kids are walking along the same tracks...Right
> past their own memorial.

Some time back we had a train strike a trespasser who crossed the tracks illegally and without looking.  I came through the spot about 12 hours later to find that his family had erected a cross next to the spot and were standing around, ON THE TRACKS, mourning him.  I'd been doing 70 MPH and braked as hard as I could without dumping it, slowing down to 30 MPH before I passed the spot.  Fortunately they moved, unfortunately the lesson their loved one died to teach them was clearly not learned.

When I reported their presence to the dispatcher I was disheartened to learn that the railroad was aware of their presence, but had clearly not made any efforts to protect them, or the operating crews, from the same tragedy.  Response was just a blaise "Yeah, they've been there all day", while my heart was furiously pumping in my throat.



Date: 03/21/17 07:48
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: Lackawanna484

OTG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Put up a memorial to somebody killed by a
> train,
> > and hundreds of sobbing shrieking kids are
> there.
> > Grief counselors, etc.  A week later the same
> > kids are walking along the same tracks...Right
> > past their own memorial.
>
> Some time back we had a train strike a trespasser
> who crossed the tracks illegally and without
> looking.  I came through the spot about 12 hours
> later to find that his family had erected a cross
> next to the spot and were standing around, ON THE
> TRACKS, mourning him.  I'd been doing 70 MPH and
> braked as hard as I could without dumping it,
> slowing down to 30 MPH before I passed the spot.
>  Fortunately they moved, unfortunately the lesson
> their loved one died to teach them was clearly not
> learned.
>
> When I reported their presence to the dispatcher I
> was disheartened to learn that the railroad was
> aware of their presence, but had clearly not made
> any efforts to protect them, or the operating
> crews, from the same tragedy.  Response was just
> a blaise "Yeah, they've been there all day", while
> my heart was furiously pumping in my throat.


I know people will say I'm a cynic, but sometimes the only wy to change behavior is sustained enforcement.  There are some towns where drivers absolutely KNOW not to speed. They'll nail your butt to the nearest tree, and it will cost you $300 when the dust clears.  Other places where it's OK to push 20 over the limit. Enforcement is the difference.

Arrest their grieving butts, and hand them $50 citations won't get the cops any humanitaran awards, but it will get wide coverage.  Florida East Coast regularly tags trespassers, I've seen them do it. In one higher traffic area, between MLK Drive and FL Avenue in Stuart, there's now a substantial fence.  Most people know not to mess with the FEC, or even hang over their tracks at a crossing.  I've seen deputies tag motorists for that, too.



Date: 03/21/17 12:40
Re: Another Train vs. Pedestrian
Author: WW

One of the issues with enforcement when I was a Presenter with OLI (OLI stated that the things needed for grade crossing and trespasser safety were the "3 E's"--engineering, education, and enforcement) was that, quite often, local and state law enforcement didn't do much enforcement around the railroad--their attitude was that "railroad Special Agents can take care of that."  Problem is that railroad Special Agents are now spread so thinly that they are largely ineffective.  Several years ago, for example, I was told that one Class I railroad in Colorado (over 104,000 square miles big) had only 6 Special Agents to cover the whole state.  Though I hesitate to suggest this, maybe it's time for Federal Railroad Police--paid by the Feds, with the Agents having arrest powers, as the railroad Special Agents do, in any jurisdiction in which a railroad operates.  They could go after trespassers, vandals, thieves, taggers, and crossing violators, with heavy fines or jail time for those perps that are convicted.  If one thinks about it, the railroads are the only mode of  transportation in the U.S. that does not have  some kind of dedicated public policing agency mandated to protect and patrol it.   In addition to all the other benefits, I suspect that such a policing agency would stop or deter enough property crime (vandalizing and theft) on railroad property to make the program useful.  Another benefit would be that criminal activity in railroad yards usually spills over into neighboring areas--adequate policing might stop a lot of that, too.

One thing that has become abundantly clear concerning education about safety around railroads is that Operation Lifesaver has been pretty effective over the years in educating the public about grade crossing safety, but, for whatever reason, trespassers are not getting the message.  Absent stricter enforcement against trespassers (and some railfans are plenty guilty of dangerous trespass violations), the carnage is going to continue along the railroad tracks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/17 12:42 by WW.



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